Court refuses bail applications for 4 pro-democracy activists

Human rights lawyer and pro-democracy activist Anon Nampa. PHOTO: Prachathai

4 prominent members of the pro-democracy Ratsadon group have had their bail applications rejected at a court hearing in Bangkok. The Criminal Court denied bail for activist and human rights lawyer, Anon Nampa, and for fellow activists, Parit Chiwarak, aka, “Penguin”, Somyos Prueksakasemsuk, and Patiwat Saraiyam, aka, “Bank”.

The 4 activists are being charged with sedition under section 116 of the Criminal Code and with lèse majesté offences under section 112, which prohibits insulting, criticising, or defaming Thailand’s Monarchy. The charges stem from their attendance at an anti-government rally at the Tha Prachan campus of Bangkok’s Thammasat University in September. Nation Thailand reports that Parit has also been charged with taking part in November’s “Mob Fest” gathering on Ratchadamnoen Road, in the capital.

The 4 deny the charges, saying they will challenge them, with the court setting a date of March 15 to review the evidence against them. The 4 activists also offered collateral in return for being released on bail, but their requests were denied on the grounds that the accusations against them are serious, with the court pointing out it is not the first time they have faced the same charges.

Meanwhile, members of the Ratsadon group gathered at the MBK Skywalk in the Pathumwan district of Bangkok, calling for the 4 activists to be released. The rally was dispersed at 8pm, with police telling protesters they were in violation of the Emergency Decree. The group says it plans to reassemble at the Skywalk at 5pm today.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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